Part X of a series written from my wife’s perception of our life together. Part I of Shannon's story is here.
I’ll admit I like Karaoke. I don’t do it often and usually have to be coaxed but I usually get a lot of compliments when I do sing. I have a karaoke version of this song on my I-pod and I love to sing in the car when I’m by myself which is often when I’m on the road. The last time I sang this song was at a bar in
during a conference. I agreed to do it partly to avoid one very drunk client that was all over me, hint – Karaoke can be a very good escape from an unwanted male suitor. Of course Brent was there and did nothing to stop him, enjoying the game as it was and seeing me squirm. Anyway, I do like this song and also like to sing Linda Ronstadt songs. Denver
On one of my trips we had a car in the shop so Ryan had to take me to the airport and subsequently pick me up a few days later. I had a late flight and we had about a one hour drive home so I was in no mood for talking. Well, no mood to talk to Ryan as in addition to a hard week of work I had had a few wonderful days with Brent so really I had planned on sleeping in the car on the ride home.
About 15 minutes into the drive Ryan abruptly says “I want you to drop the divorce.” I curtly said no, this was not what I wanted to be talking about right now. He kept pressing and I kept saying no.
And then he said it, “I know that you and Brent are having an affair. Stop it now and stop the divorce and we can move forward. I still love you.”
Notice he didn’t say quit my high paying job! I couldn’t believe this, after all this time he’s trying to BS me into sleeping with him, I wasn’t buying this. And, of course, I denied the affair and said how do you know.
Well, you remember what I said about my little mistake in Ryan’s office in my last post? Here is where it came back to bite me. Apparently, Ryan had been following my e-mails and had seen the trail of blackberry messages between Brent and myself two days earlier from my Outlook. Ryan had even seen some suspicious e-mails as far back as August when he was snooping on my computer. But I continued to deny. Then he said he had gotten a private investigator, I was floored – this was not like Ryan. He said the PI saw us go upstairs in the hotel but never saw me leave (I was supposed to be in my new apartment that night). Of course, that was the truth – Brent and I enjoyed a luxurious hot tub evening and I certainly didn’t leave. But I continued to deny and Ryan eventually gave up on the subject. That Friday was about 1 week before Christmas so we maintained a tense détente over the holidays.
Unfortunately, my temper gets the better of me and about two weeks later I got angry at Ryan and in a furor said “yes, I’m screwing Brent!” I did it to hurt him but of course we all ended up getting hurt.
And so began the ridiculous dance we had over the next several months. I said, I was ending things with Brent and at times I thought I might. But a few weeks later Ryan called a hotel we were both staying at in
when Brent was not supposed to be there. At this point Ryan asked me on every trip if Brent was going to be there. On this trip I had told him that Brent was not going to be there, I was surprised that Ryan would call the hotel to verify that. This happened a few more times where Ryan would call a hotel and find out that both Brent and I were there when we were not supposed to be together. Then there was the time that Ryan found a Starbucks coffee receipt from Chicago Midway when I was supposed to be in Michigan . I had decided to fly into Milwaukee Chicago and just drive up to so I could be with Brent. Milwaukee
Eventually, I became more careful. Brent and I started corresponding on private e-mail. But Ryan must have noticed this and was able to break into that e-mail as well and I was again exposed.
Another time, Ryan guessed my blackberry password and caught me.
The truth though, that we were both ignoring at the time, was that I had no desire to end the affair with Brent and I was no longer in love with Ryan. We did go through marriage counseling but I really had little desire to let Brent go. The paradox was that life had a certain balance now. Ryan is a good dad and most of the time we get along OK. We had been married for over 10 years now, had two beautiful daughters and I really didn’t want to give up on that life. I didn’t know what I wanted! Or perhaps I did but didn’t want to admit that this life of deceit (family on the East Coast, affair in the
Midwest) was becoming my norm. Could that actually be something one would desire?
So 2004 faded into 2005 and then into 2006 and on into 2007. Ryan did get a lawyer and was able to get the divorce tossed out. Apparently since the girls didn’t live in that county nor did we have any property there anymore, the judge determined that he couldn’t rule on a divorce. If only Ryan could use his energy for something that might make me have feelings for him again? By the time the divorce did get thrown out I had basically conceded to my East Coast family life with a
Midwest career and affair.
Over these years there were times when Ryan and I would be intensely angry with one another and then there were times when I really didn’t think he cared. I’m not sure Ryan cared about anything anymore other than his work, the girls, and his favorite college teams, certainly not me. At least at this point the girls were his first priority, a first for him.
What did change slowly over time were my feelings toward Brent. We had some very special times, like the time he took me to his hometown. But eventually it just became a challenge to connect in some
Midwest hotel to screw. I wanted more. I spoke with him about finding time to take a vacation to the UP in Michigan or to just stay on his land in . He would always agree that we should do that and promise to find the time but it never happened. As time went on I realized it never would. Minnesota
I originally wrote my first entry of
Shannon’s Story just to try it on for size. I had read many female blogger’s accounts of their relationships with their husbands and I certainly knew my impression of my wife. What I found intriguing was to try to strike a balance. What I know is that Shannon has the capacity to be a complete bitch. What I also know is that I’m no gem either and that she is not always a bad person – in fact she is a great mom and a supremely talented, brilliant, and engaging person that people always seem hopelessly drawn to. The reality of our life probably lies somewhere in between. So I wanted to try to find that truth through her voice as I worked my way back through our history.
What surprised me was the reaction by other bloggers. I have gotten many more comments on my
Shannon posts than any others. So what I thought at first would be a handful of posts grew to what I projected to be a round 10 posts. And now that I’m at 10 I don’t think I’m quite through with the story. So perhaps we will venture forward just a bit more in the coming months (who knows)? We are both still here and there have certainly been plenty of bumps in the road since those tense days back in 2004/05.
|I think I told you Shannon looks a bit like Kate and you know I look a bit like that guy next to her (right?) :)|